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Community Partners of Dallas
Community Partners of Dallas was established in 1989 by a committed group of Dallas County individuals. Initially the purpose was to determine how the community could support Child Protective Services. Over time, the mission of Community Partners was refined and became:
The mission of Community Partners of Dallas is to ensure safety, restore dignity and inspire hope for the abused and neglected children served by Dallas County Protective Services.
This is a unique mission in that there is no other nonprofit agency in the Dallas County area that meets this specific need.
In support of Community Partners of Dallas’ mission, the Adopt-A-Caseworker program was established in 1990. This program enlisted the support of area businesses, civic groups, churches, and families to meet the specific needs of children who have been impacted by child abuse and neglect. In 1992 a program was implemented to show support for CPS caseworkers. This program, called Caseworker Appreciation, is hosted by the partnership, our women's auxiliary.
As the Adopt-A-Caseworker program evolved, CPD learned that caseworkers had many needs for resources that were more immediate than could be met with this program. As a result, the Rainbow Room was created in 1993 to meet these emergency needs. This was accomplished through collaboration with local agencies and area businesses. The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services provided office space. Several Dallas area foundations and corporations provided funding for needed items and in-kind donations. More than 168,000 children have been served since the inception of the Rainbow Room.
In 1999 funding was requested and subsequently secured from the Crystal Charity Ball to begin a new program entitled “Kids in Crisis.” It provides emergency funds for transportation, housing, enrichment activities, clothing, and therapy for children. Funding was also secured to pay for medical expenses for children. Over the program’s history, Kids in Crisis has served more than 6,500 of Dallas County’s abused and neglected children with direct support of over $100,000. In 2001 “Foster Friends” was established to provide volunteers for assistance with children’s weekly parent/child visits, as well as supplying volunteers to assist with administrative support to caseworkers. This program was so effective that in 2007, the state began to manage and expand Foster Friends to serve the entire North Texas region.
In August of 2006, the agency launched its newest program, StoryLine, a phone line that children can call to hear a story 24 hours a day. The StoryLine number is (214) 446-2222 and volunteers supply the voices, as well as a “celebrity” line featuring local personalities from television and radio. More than 400 children call in each month to access this program. Today, through five programs we serve more than 20,000 abused and neglected children from Dallas County annually.
Community Partners of Dallas has evolved into a unique public-private partnership. The Center for Social Work Research at the University of Texas at Austin conducted research to evaluate the success of Community Partners. As a result, caseworkers reported improved worker-client relationships, reduced stress and a greater sense of effectiveness. As a result of their broad-based community support, Community Partners was named the Outstanding Volunteer Organization of the Year in 1995 by the Volunteer Center in Dallas.
In addition, Governors Bush and Richards appointed two of our founding members to the Board of Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. Community Partners of Dallas’ programs have been replicated across the state and Rainbow Rooms and Adopt-A-Caseworker programs are currently underway in more than 155 cities in Texas.